As we are now in the midst of Fall (otherwise known as a continuation of Summer her in Florida) we often receive questions from our clients pertaining to Thermostats. As you’ve seen in our previous blog posts, our clients have a nearly infinite number of Thermostat styles and features from which to choose.

However, Thermostats are not immune from being the subject of urban legends, old wives tales and basic misinformation. As your trusted HVAC resource, we’d like to take a moment to dispel a few Thermostat myths that our clients bring up to our ACT

First Responders:

Setting the thermostat to a much hotter or cooler temperature than you want will help the system reach the comfortable temperature you desire faster.

Some people hold the belief that if you want to heat your home quickly, you should set the thermostat to the highest temperature possible because the HVAC system will blast hotter air. They may also believe that setting their AC System to the coldest setting will cool a room faster.

The fact of the matter is that AC Systems do not function this way. These systems heat or cool a space at a certain uniform rate, regardless of the Thermostat setting. You don’t want to make your AC System work harder than it needs to, which will result in greater wear and tear and shorten the systems service life. The net result would be uncomfortable temperatures and costlier energy bills.

Keep your Thermostat set to the same temperature day or night.

This is the most common thermostat myth. Many homeowners believe that if you leave the thermostat the same temperature all day and night, you will be saving electricity. Not true.

It takes less energy to cool down a warm room in your home than it does to maintain a constant degree. Here are a few suggestions that will help you to achieve better comfort around your home without using more electricity:

  • You could set the thermostat back a few degrees, but be careful not to set back too far, as the system may struggle to cool your home down if set back is more that say 3 degrees on a super hot day
  • You could also benefit from dressing accordingly to the weather. If it is hotter outside, you may want to dress lightly. This would be the same scenario for colder nights. A blanket or heavier clothing material will help keep you warmer.

A programmable Thermostat will save me money.

This is a myth that is based upon a nugget of truth. A programmable Thermostat is not a magic device. It will only save energy and money when utilized properly.

By setting your Thermostat to wide or extreme temperature swings, your Thermostat will not save you money. The more extreme the settings to cool or heat your home, the harder your AC System must work system will work to maintain those settings. However, by using the following recommended temperature settings, you could save over $180 a year (according to Energy Star):

  • Winter: 68°F while you’re awake at home; lower the thermostat 10°F to 15°F when you’re out of the house of eight hours or longer for a savings of 5 to 15 percent on your annual heating costs
  • Summer: 78°F while you’re awake at home; set the cooling temperature 10°F to 15° warmer when you’re away from your home for eight hours or longer for a savings of 5 to 15 percent on your annual cooling costs

If my house is not cold, my Thermostat must be broken.

This is another common Thermostat myth. When your home is not reaching the proper temperature setting, people normally blame the Thermostat. That may not always be the case. The issue could be within your household ductwork or an equipment problem.

Even though it’s easy to point the finger at your Thermostat, since it controls the temperature settings, you need a qualified ACT First Responder to inspect and diagnose your system to ensure proper functioning.

The location of my Thermostat does not matter.

Your Thermostat’s location does have a significant impact on your AC System’s performance. Ideally, your Thermostat should be installed in an accessible area such as a hallway or bedroom. This will help provide easy access for you to control the comfort level around your home.

We recommend avoiding areas in your home where there is direct sunlight, appliances, air vents or other drafty areas. This will affect your Thermostat’s ability to get a true reading of your home’s temperature and how to effectively heat or cool your home.

Please call AC Today or stop by our headquarters to have a cup of coffee or iced tea to speak with our Thermostat specialists! If you suspect that your Thermostat is malfunctioning or is installed in the wrong part of your home, we’ll put one of our ACT First Responders on the case!